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Sunak to find ‘middle ground’ in emergency Rwanda legislation as Tory splits emerge into public view | Politics News

Rishi Sunak will aim for a middle ground in the emergency legislation to get the Rwanda scheme off the ground as he remains under severe pressure to stop small boat crossings.

A senior government source has told Sky News that the prime minister is not planning to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as he seeks to prevent a split in his party.

It comes as more centrist Tory MPs are warning Mr Sunak publicly not to abandon international refugee and human rights treaties, while those on the right of the party want him to take a more hard-line approach.

Politics news – latest: Tory splits on migration spill into public view

The prime minister is trying to rescue the plan to deport migrants who arrive in the UK by irregular means to Rwanda and make it legally watertight following the Supreme Court’s ruling against the scheme.

In the wake of the judgement on 15 November, the government insisted it had been working on contingency measures and promised a treaty with Rwanda within days, along with emergency legislation in parliament.

The treaty was signed on Tuesday, and the government is expected to publish the emergency legislation to accompany it “soon”.

More on European Court Of Human Rights

Read more: Rishi Sunak stuck between rock and hard place as Tories battle over migration policy

The legislation will be scrutinised on all sides of the debate, with members of the right-wing European Research Group (ERG) revealing to Sky News earlier that the group’s so-called “star chamber” of lawyers will examine it before MPs vote on it.

ERG chairman Mark Francois promised a conclusion within a matter of days, and added: “They will then examine the bill in detail to look at the question of whether it fully respects parliamentary sovereignty and whether it contains unambiguous wording that would facilitate planes taking off to Rwanda.”

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UK and Rwanda sign asylum treaty

He also warned that the prime minister would be “unwise” to “bounce” MPs into backing the legislation before it has been properly scrutinised.

The opposite wing of the party has warned that any attempt to override the ECHR or Refugee Convention would be a “red line”.

Read more:
How safe is the UK’s plan for asylum seekers?
Rwanda did not receive funding to sign new asylum treaty

Former cabinet minister Damian Green said earlier today: “What I am most encouraged by is what the home secretary said, which is the purpose of the treaty he signed is to directly address the problems the Supreme Court had with the system.”

He added that undermining international commitments would be the “wrong thing for this country to do, bad for our international reputation”, and it would also make it “pretty much impossible” for any bill to pass the House of Lords.

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Will Rwanda asylum treaty work?

Stephen Hammond, a member of the One Nation grouping, said: “The prime minister has a tricky task on his hands to balance the economy, labour market, and stopping the boats.

“The package by the home secretary shows this is possible and, importantly, can be achieved by not leaving the ECHR, which would be a mistake and doesn’t have public support.

“Furthermore, moderates and mainstream Conservative MPs may struggle to support a so-called full-fat deal.”

Supermoon tonight: How and where to view the lunar event | UK News

As night falls later stargazers will get the chance to glimpse the first of this month’s two supermoons.

The lunar phenomenon happens when a full moon is near its closest point to Earth, making it appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter compared with when it is furthest away.

Rising in the east at a distance of some 222,159 miles (357,530km), the supermoon will be visible shortly after sunset from around 9pm onwards – cloud cover depending.

It will be best seen from areas with darker skies and limited light pollution.

While visible to the naked eye, using a small telescope or a pair of binoculars will provide the opportunity to view the moon’s surface in greater detail.

Tuesday night’s event is called a sturgeon moon – nothing to do with the former SNP leader but the fish – because of their abundance historically in August when they were caught by Native Americans.

And there is a double treat in store because there will be another supermoon on 31 August.

Because it is the second full moon in the same month, it is known as a blue moon.

Occurring only every three years or so it gives rise to the expression “once in a blue moon”.

It will be even closer on that date at a distance of 222,043 miles (357,344km).

This compares with a distance of about 252,088 miles (405,696km) when the moon is at its furthest point from Earth.

Read more:
Pictures from the July supermoon

The last supermoon was in July

How can I see the supermoon?

Royal Museums Greenwich said: “So long as there’s not too much cloud, the full moon will be an unmistakable white orb in the sky.

“This is a good opportunity to use a small telescope or a pair of binoculars to see the moon’s detailed surface, or even try taking a few interesting moon photos.

“However, you can see the moon perfectly well with just your eyes. Seeing moonrise just after sunset, or moonset just before sunrise, will be an impressive sight as it will appear enormous compared to the surrounding landscape.”

Lunar cycle

A full moon happens once in each lunar cycle, which lasts 29.5 days.

As the moon travels in an elliptical path around the Earth, rather than a circular one, there are times when it is closer than others.

The last time two full supermoons appeared in the same month was in 2018 – and it won’t happen again until 2037, according to Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, founder of the Virtual Telescope Project.

This year’s first supermoon was in July, while the fourth and last will be in September.

The reason for moons being given different names – such as the sturgeon moon – stretches back in time and relates to the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather that month.

Those chosen have generally been attributed to Native American tribes.

The World Reimagined: King to view art project on the slave trade during Yorkshire visit | UK News

The King and Queen Consort will visit Yorkshire today for engagements that explore the UK’s history and relationship with the Commonwealth.

It is of immense significance to me personally and to the wider discussion on racial equity that His Majesty, as part of his visit, will be viewing a number of The World Reimagined globes on display in Leeds City Centre.

The World Reimagined is a national arts and education project that explores the history and impact of the transatlantic trade in the enslavement of Africans.

The aim is to transform how we understand this period and allow us to better understand our combined history.

Artists were commissioned to depict their interpretations of the trade.

Their unique designs have been applied to a large globe sculpture shape devised by our founder, Turner Prize-nominated artist Yinka Shonibare CBE.

The trails are the centre of a broader education and engagement programme, with more than 200 schools, 100 community organisations, 58 corporate partners and various sporting and cultural institutions across the country.

The hope is the project will inspire and instil pride in what it means to be black and British and help us all better understand what it means to be British.

I am one of the trustees and sit on the board that brought this nascent idea, born out of a fleeting conversation, to life.

Imagine what all of us could do to make racial justice a reality if we deeply understood our shared history and truly acknowledged one another.

This ethos is the seed from which The World Reimagined has grown.

As we spoke with more and more people across the UK, we were inspired by the desire and readiness of people from all walks of life to have this conversation about our shared history for our shared future.

Together, we knew it doesn’t diminish who we are as a society, but in its courage enhances our collective identity and what it means to be British.

That’s what we’ve seen in the extraordinary and enormous community that has brought The World Reimagined to life.

centre of a broader education and engagement programme, with more than 200 schools, 100 community organisations, 58 corporate partners
The World Reimagined. Gillian Joseph piece about racial equality in Britain

We’ve seen artists transform their experience, insight and talent into stunning sculptures that have been invitations to learning for the public.

We’ve seen teachers step forward into their roles as racial justice leaders in their school communities, historians share their expertise, and community activists combine compassion and persistence to keep the conversation going.

Shortly after the killing of George Floyd in the US on the 25 May 2020, I hosted a special global debate programme for Sky News called Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come? in which I was joined by historians, activists, business and cultural leaders and a virtual studio audience to discuss what should happen next in the fight to eradicate racism and create equality.

A seat at the table is what was demanded, an acknowledgement of equal humanity and most encouragingly a sense that this tragedy had provided a tipping point that would lead to positive change.

The special discussion aired in June.
Sky held a special debate programme following George Floyd’s death in 2020
George Floyd with daughter Gianna. Mr Floyd was killed during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis.
George Floyd with his daughter Gianna

I do believe the killing of one man on a street in Minneapolis led to a global demand for change.

The Black Lives Matter movement has come to the fore, statues have been toppled – rightly or wrongly depending on your viewpoint, institutions have offered to make amends, to learn and to do better.

I feel optimistic it was more than just a moment.

Sky’s commitment

I’m proud to say the then chief executive of Sky, Jeremy Darroch, promised that the company would be a more diverse and inclusive organisation, especially at senior levels

The aim was to listen and take advice from black and minority ethnic colleagues, so the wider organisation could make the changes that really matter. The changes that bring us closer to true equality.

Everyone at Sky was encouraged to take responsibility to educate themselves and understand the issues, so the right conversations happened, however uncomfortable they may be.

A promise was made to work with colleagues and charities to make a difference in communities.

Sky is making a significant financial contribution towards the fight for racial equality, supporting causes affecting black and minority ethnic communities.

It’s hoped the investment will ensure the company plays its part in building a more tolerant and inclusive society, working on issues of racial injustice and with communities affected by it.

Sky has engaged in having a challenging and robust discussion, about race, racism and achieving true equality. The company committed to an additional £10m a year until 2023 to support and embed the various changes.

It was this commitment by Sky and the ground-shifting events of George Floyd’s killing that emboldened me to ask the company to support The World Reimagined. They accepted the invitation and became the Official Presenting Partner.

King’s ‘personal sorrow’ over slave trade

Today we see the King interacting with the project in Leeds.

We have been encouraged by His Majesty’s acknowledgement the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans must be publicly addressed and taught in schools with the same prominence as the Holocaust.

Before becoming King, he spoke of his “personal sorrow” at the UK’s historical links with the trade during his visit to Rwanda earlier this year and vowed to campaign for greater public awareness of slavery, the lack of which dogged the Royal Family’s recent overseas tours.

Prince Charles speaks in Rwanda
The King spoke of his ‘personal sorrow’ at UK links with slavery during a visit to Rwanda earlier this year

The King seems genuinely interested in trying to understand our past and how it informs the present and future.

He described the enslavement of Africans as an “appalling atrocity”, saying “it forever stains our history” when he spoke at an event to mark Barbados becoming a republic.

At The World Reimagined, we believe in a patriotism that says we as a country are strong and courageous enough to own our shared past and present honestly, so that we can create a better future – together.

That is the invitation these incredible works of art have extended to the public in recent months.

We have been so inspired by the students, families, communities and companies that have stepped into this conversation.

It is meaningful to see the King’s determination to join the recognition this is a conversation everybody needs to be a part of and in which everyone has a role to play.

All 103 artist-commissioned globes will be on display for two days in Trafalgar Square in London on 19 and 20 November.